The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) is now on an exercise to update the building by-laws, which will also include provisions with regard to safety of construction and labour. The building by-laws were last revised in 2003. According to senior officials of the Town Planning Department, many of the provisions no longer apply to the city, while some others are ambiguous. “Over the years, many circulars and notifications have been issued by the commissioner or the BBMP council, which have been just added to the existing by-laws. We are now trying to include all these and come up with a version best suited for the city,” they said.
The basis is the model building by-laws notified by the State government for all urban local bodies in 2017. “We are now customising the provisions to suit the BBMP’s requirements,” they said and added that they had sought inputs from all departments within the civic body, including solid waste management, storm water drains, lakes etc. For the first time, the BBMP is including provisions with regard to safety of construction. Until now, for high rises, the onus was on the builder. This aspect, officials said, was neither addressed in the current by-laws nor in the National Building Code. “Now, we will insist that builders take certain measures during construction to minimise incidents like collapse or other structural accidents. “The builders will have to submit reports of structural engineers, test of materials used during construction and other tests to certify the stability parameters to the BBMP,” they said.
These tests have to be conducted only by companies or agencies certified by the National Accreditation Board for Laboratories. Officials said stress was also given to labour safety. Provisions on how the labour camps have to be set up for construction workers and periodical medical check-up had also been included.“This is following an incident of cholera outbreak in one of the labour camps of a builder on the outskirts of the city around a year ago,” they said. With the draft now being readied, the officials added that once inputs from all departments come in, the draft would be tabled before the Standing Committee for Town Planning. “The committee will have to approve it and later table it before the BBMP council, following which the government will have to give the go ahead,” they said and added that the draft would be tabled before the standing committee after the model code of conduct ends. With the city losing many heritage structures, a separate chapter on heritage conservation had also been included. “We have adopted the standard provisions on heritage conservation from Gujarat and Maharashtra, apart from Archaeological Survey of India guidelines,” officials claimed.